Something was breathing heavily through its nose as it moved through a forest with no signs of life in it.
“Fuuuh! Fuuuh! Pafuooh!”
As if desiring some kind of scent, it inhaled the surrounding air aggressively and then exhaled, its nose letting out a noise that sounded like a trumpet.
Even so, perhaps unable to find the scent that it was looking for, the creature extended its nose and began pressing its nose against all of the objects near it.
Trees, the dirt, stones, everything that it could reach.
Of course, a creature capable of this would not be a human.
To be more precise, this creature had once been a human, but had transformed into something that was not a human.
It had the face of a man with clearly unattractive looks, with scars across its forehead and cheeks. There were no abnormalities with the shapes or number of eyes and nose on this face. Other than the scars, it was the face of a normal human man.
But the location of this face was abnormal. The face was attached to the tip of an enormous human nose, so large that a grown Titan man would not be able to wrap his arms around it.
“SCEEEEENT!” the creature, which couldn’t be described as anything other than a nose monster, shrieked in a high-pitched voice as it began moving again in an angry manner.
There were several thick tentacles… no, noses, protruding from the root of the enormous nose. At a glance, these smaller noses looked like tentacles, but they were all noses like the trunks of elephants.
This nose monster, whose bizarre appearance would cause an ordinary person to lose their ability to speak out of fear for it, continued through the forest that had no signs of any creatures living in it. It seemed that the animals and monsters that would normally be present in the forest had fled out of fear for the ominous aura emitted by the monster.
At that moment, the wind blew – a cold, clear autumn wind with a touch of the winter to come.
At that moment, the nose monster’s entire body froze. It quietly inhaled the scent of the wind.
The nose monster’s man-shaped face twisted in joy. It had finally sniffed out the scent that it had been desiring.
The nose monster turned and began moving in a ferocious manner towards the north. It mowed down the trees and boulders in its way with its trunks, letting out a trumpeting noise in joy at being able to get even a little closer to the scent it desired.
But as the monster came out of the forest, someone stood in its way.
“Stop right there!”
“We came here because we thought there were some unnatural noises of destruction and cries coming from the forest, and it seems we were on the mark. It’s helpful that those who are absorbed by a fragment are stupid, but I don’t like them because there’s no point in having a scout against them.”
“Edgar, save the talk for later… Vega, the self-proclaimed treasure hunter, I assume? Can you understand my words?”
The Five-colored Blades, led by the S-class adventurer Heinz, were standing in front of the monster – what had become of the man called Vega.
Vega, a petty thief who fancied himself to be a treasure hunter, went alone into a ruin that was believed to have already been completely searched, believing that there was a treasure slumbering inside. Several hours later, his thief friends reported to the city’s guards that he had emerged from the ruin as a monster.
Upon receiving this news, the guards realized that this wasn’t a problem they could deal with on their own and tried to send out a request to the Adventurers’ Guild. Hearing this story, the Guild Master instinctively suspected that a fragment of the Demon King could be involved and sent out a request by name to Heinz and his companions, who had happened to be staying in the city at the time.
It seemed that the Guild Master had been right.
“Heinz, I’m certain he doesn’t understand us,” said Delizah, the female Dwarf shield-bearer.
“Unlike Ternecia, there’s no trace of his original human form,” said Jennifer, the female human martial-artist.
The Elf Diana who was a priestess of Mill, the goddess of slumber, was behind them and not saying anything. But that was because she was reciting an incantation.
Heinz knew that there was little hope as well, but he didn’t give up. “You might be right. But if his consciousness is still somewhere in there, there should be a chance to save him,” he said, then he turned to Vega again. “Vega, do you know your own name? Cliff was worried about you!” he said, mentioning the name of Vega’s thief friend.
Perhaps in response to hearing that name, Vega’s lips convulsed as he whispered something. “Guh… guh…”
A glimmer of hope appeared on Heinz’s face.
But that hope was shattered as Vega let out high-pitched, ear-piercing scream. “BASTAAAAARD! GET OUT OF MY WAAAAY!”
Vega’s face twisted in fury at having the path to his desired scent blocked, and he swung the elephant trunks that he had been using as legs in the direction of Heinz and his companions like whips.
“It’s no good!”
“Yeah, let’s put him to rest quickly!”
Around two years ago, when Heinz and his companions fought the Pure-breed Vampire Ternecia, she had turned the tables on them in an instant by activating the Demon King’s horns and forced them onto the defense.
Just like back then, they were facing a fragment of the Demon King. But Heinz and his party members were not wearing grim expressions.
Because things were different from back then.
“My goddess Mill, grant us your protection! Great Invigoration!” cried Diana, casting a life-attribute spell that improved the physical abilities of her allies.
“True Steel Wall, True Steel Form!” shouted Delizah, stopping the elephant-trunk whips.
“Guillotine Slash!” Edgar severed the elephant trunks with his knife.
“BABOOOOOH!” Vega roared, continuing his attacks with more elephant trunks.
“Thousand Tip Thrusts!” Jennifer’s rapid, sharp, bare-handed strikes repelled Vega and dealt some damage to him in return as well.
And Heinz seized the small opening given to him, wrenching it open. “Familiar Spirit Descent! Forgive me… Instant Shining Slash!”
The attack he unleashed cut Vega’s face open in a straight line.
Heinz and his companions had improved their skills even further beyond what they had been two years ago, and as Heinz possessed the Holy Guider Job, a Guider-type Job, his companions had developed remarkably. Now, all of them had become capable enough to be worthy of being called S-class.
And two years ago, their equipment had been made of Mythril and Adamantite; now, each of them was equipped with Orichalcum Artifacts that could stand up to the Demon King’s fragments.
“GEEEEH!” Vega screeched.
Vega, the enemy, was different to the one Heinz and his companions had fought two years ago. He was not like the Pure-breed Vampire Ternecia, who had manipulated the Demon King’s horns skillfully with martial skills and high-level Skills such as Throwing.
He was a petty thief whose Demon King Encroachment Degree had reached its limit, completely taken over by the Demon King’s nose. At this point, the quality of the host might have no relevance at all, but since Vega couldn’t use martial skills or spells, he was no different from a beast that relied entirely on its physical strength.
“Alright, let’s push him back!” Heinz shouted to increase the morale of his companions, certain in his victory.
“Wait, something’s wrong!” said Edgar, stopping him.
Edgar had noticed that Vega’s split face was letting out not only a scream, but a disgusting noise that sounded like mucus being inhaled through a blocked nose as well.
Heinz and his companions heeded Edgar’s warning and made some distance between them and Vega. In front of them, the enormous Demon King’s nose fell over backwards. For a moment, it seemed like Edgar had been worried over nothing. But the nostrils, which were big enough to fit a human head inside, pointed at them, and at that moment, they understood the enemy’s intention.
“Everyone, get behind me!” shouted Delizah, stepping forward just as a red fluid sprayed from the enormous nostrils. She grimaced as she used her shield to stop the forcefully-sprayed liquid that gave off an iron-like stench. “This guy, using nose-blood as a projectile weapon, what is he thinking?!”
The Demon King’s nose had slurped up its own blood like an elephant’s trunk did with water, then sprayed it out at a high pressure. It was like a water cutter, or rather, a nose-blood cutter.
If it were anyone but Delizah stopping this attack, or if she were equipped with an ordinary iron or copper shield, she would likely have been cut in half.
“Get out of my way, get out of my way! I have to go! I have to go to where I am!” Vega’s face shouted, elated with his apparent victory.
Delizah looked at him, not with anger, but with pity. “But this is as far as you go,” she said.
Indeed, the struggle of the Demon King’s nose ended here. The nose-blood cutter attack that sprayed nose-blood was astounding. But as the ammunition for this attack was the user’s own blood, it was using up its own body.
The nose-blood’s force gradually decreased, and the Demon King’s nose fell easily to the counterattack from Heinz and his companions.
“Oh, oooh, another…”
The Demon King’s nose let out an ominous burbling noise as it began transforming to try and infest a new host.
Heinz unsheathed the sword that he had been given by the Church of Alda. “You can’t go anywhere. This is where it ends.”
And then he thrust his blade into the Demon King’s nose.
That action alone was enough to stop the movement and the transformation of the Demon King’s nose. A clear expression of fear appeared on Vega’s face.
“No, I have to go to where I am! Where I am! I must fuse with the main body! The main bodyyyyy!” the Demon King’s nose screamed desperately, floundering around and trying to escape.
But it turned black and melted into a liquid, then was absorbed by the sword that had been thrust into it.
The only thing remaining was the remains of what had been Vega.
“Main… body…” whispered what was left of Vega, then it stopped moving as well.
“I’m sorry we couldn’t save you. I hope that you can at least rest in peace,” Heinz said, sheathing his sword and closing Vega’s eyelids.
“How is the seal?” asked Diana, looking at the sword with an expression of worry.
The sword was an Artifact for sealing the Demon King’s fragments that had been left in the care of the Church of Alda. It had no effect on fragments that had already infested their hosts, but when thrust into fragments that were trying to separate themselves from their soon-to-die hosts or fragments that were already separated from a host, the blade would seal the fragments away.
It was a weapon that originated from Bellwood.
“Can such a small sword really seal away a monster like that? Isn’t it possible for something to cause it to escape from the sheath and come out again?” Jennifer asked, looking doubtful.
Heinz examined the sword for a while. “I don’t think there will be any problems,” he said finally. “It seems that the sword and sheath fuse together when the sword seals a fragment, so it doesn’t seem like it’s possible for me to unsheathe it accidentally.”
“And although it looks plain, it’s made of Orichalcum, so it won’t break so easily. Once we have it enshrined in the holy grounds managed by the Church, we can rest easy,” said Delizah.
“Only while the Orbaume Kingdom still stands,” said Diana.
In this world, nations had been destroyed and rebuilt repeatedly, lasting only around a thousand years at most. On the surface, the Church was an organization with no connections with those of the outside world, but it wasn’t as unconnected as it seemed.
It wasn’t unusual for the anger of the poor, oppressed citizens to reach the Church, and there had been some who utilized the chaos caused by wars and revolutions to steal Artifacts and sealed fragments of the Demon King held by the Church.
This was what Diana, an Elf with a long lifespan, was worried about.
“But can the Elves manage this seal in this age?” Jennifer asked.
Diana gave a bitter smile. “It is certainly difficult. Peria-sama has gone into hiding and Shizarion-sama is dead, so we Elves do not have power like we possessed in the age of the gods. Perhaps if it were a large settlement in the Amid Empire, or…”
“But it’s safer to leave the seal with a Church here than carrying it all the way to the Amid Empire, right? There’s probably been nothing but chaos in the Sauron duchy recently, too. Let’s go with the realistic option here,” said Edgar.
“You are right,” said Diana.
Even seals created by gods or the legendary champions could not last forever, so they had no choice but to be satisfied with the options that they could actually take.
“But it’s strange. Just what kind of form did the Demon King have? I can’t imagine that that nose could have been attached to a face just like that,” Delizah muttered as the party headed back to the city.
Diana and Edgar tried to imagine what the Demon King might have looked like as well, but they couldn’t.
“Even if he looked just like a human, what about that size?” said Edgar.
“And what about those elephant trunks?” said Diana.
The countless elephant trunks that the Demon King’s nose had been using instead of legs. These were unnecessary parts for a nose that was in its proper position on the body – attached to the face.
The Demon King should have had more effective organs to use for attacking or using as limbs, such as his horns. Or did those elephant trunks have some other purpose?
“This is information from an old record, but the Demon King’s fragments apparently don’t correspond to the Demon King Guduranis’s body parts,” said Heinz, remembering a description in an ancient manuscript that he had once seen at a Church of Alda.
“What does that mean?” Edgar asked.
“According to the description in an ancient manuscript written by an ancient hero who sealed away multiple fragments of the Demon King –”
The legendary champion Bellwood, along with his companions, fought the Demon King Guduranis and tore his body to pieces, and the gods sealed away his evil soul.
But the repulsive Vitality residing in the Demon King’s body, which had been divided into countless fragments, didn’t fade even after the Demon King’s soul was sealed.
The Demon King’s fragments would always attempt to gather together and revive the Demon King. Realizing that they could not be destroyed, Bellwood and his companions separated the fragments one by one.
But even after being sealed, the fragments remained active; each of them transformed into a different organ and waited vigilantly for the chance to become whole again.
“That’s apparently the reason why most seals don’t have records of what kind of fragment has been sealed inside,” Heinz explained. “Nobody would be able to know if the fragments transformed while sealed. The gods, especially the evil gods that came from the Demon King’s world, can apparently tell what’s inside a seal, though.”
Delizah and the others grimaced.
“In other words, it can’t be told what’s inside without opening them… an unpleasant lottery. It seems that Vega put his hands on the fragment because he thought it was a treasure or something, but some people actually desire these things, and I can’t understand them,” said Delizah.
“You’re right. No matter how much you want power, you might get a fragment like the Demon King’s chest hair, right? I wouldn’t even think about it,” said Jennifer.
“Even the nose was that powerful, so even if you did get a fragment of the Demon King like that, I still believe that you would gain a significant amount of power,” said Diana.
“You’re right,” Heinz said with a nod, then he looked north. “The main body, huh. Is there someone who possesses other fragments of the Demon King in the north? Maybe –”
“You’re thinking that maybe the mysterious monster that appeared in the Sauron Duchy and destroyed the hero, the resistance and Duke Marme’s army might be it?” said Edgar.
“… Edgar, do you think I’m worrying too much?” Heinz asked.
The events in the Sauron region had reached the Orbaume Kingdom, and, though faintly, the ears of Heinz, an S-class adventurer who was an honorary nobleman of the kingdom and involved in national affairs.
The ‘Light-speed Sword’ Duke Rickert Amid, a hero of the Amid Empire, one of the Fifteen Evil-breaking Swords. This man had been dispatched on a mission to exterminate the resistance, but contact had been lost.
As the one who had requested that the emperor dispatch Rickert, Duke Marme felt responsible and sent a large force of his elite troops into the former Scylla territory that was occupied by the resistance, where they apparently encountered fearsome monsters.
According to the little information available, one of those monsters was apparently an Undead Titan, a fearsome swordsman with a half-skeleton face, wielding an enormous black sword.
A single swing of his blade apparently sent knights and trees flying away like leaves.
He was likely a monster that had appeared after crossing the Boundary Mountain Range, and both Rickert and the resistance organization called the Sauron Liberation Front had probably been killed by him.
“That black sword… When I heard what the Demon King’s nose made Vega say, I did think it possible that it’s some kind of Demon King fragment,” said Heinz.
“It’s a bit late for it, but do you still want to accept the request?” asked Edgar. “The army’s request for help to recover the Sauron Duchy.”
The loss of the resistance was painful, but the military operation to take advantage of the chaos within Duke Marme’s army and the Amid Empire would begin soon. Marquis Dramad, the current marshal of the Orbaume Kingdom, had contacted Heinz and his party through the Adventurers’ Guild to ask him to help with the operation.
But Heinz had already refused once.
“No, forget about it. The Amid Empire has other heroes, and according to rumors, Randolf ‘the True’ is involved behind the scenes. Let’s focus on the Trial of Zakkart and the problems within the kingdom,” said Heinz, still looking north with a distant, worried gaze. “I hope I’m just overthinking things, but…”
Vandalieu suddenly felt a sensation like his chest was tightening, and instinctively looked south.
Saria and Rita noticed that something was wrong with their master and called out to him.
“Bocchan, what’s wrong? Why are you suddenly holding your chest?”
But even Vandalieu didn’t know why he felt this sensation.
He used Out-of-body Experience and made more heads to think and search through his memories, but he concluded that there was nothing wrong with his body and couldn’t find a cause for this sensation.
“I don’t really know, but I suddenly felt an emotional pain,” he said.
He turned his gaze south once more, but he couldn’t see anything there other than a hill with trees growing thickly on its side. But something was happening far beyond that hill, in a distant place. He felt certain of that.
“Bocchan… I know how you feel,” said Rita, putting her hands on Vandalieu’s shoulders. “You’re in a blue mood, aren’t you?”
“Father often said that at turning points in life, one suddenly becomes uncertain and feels down,” said Saria, putting her hands on Vandalieu’s shoulders as well.
“Like marriage, pregnancy and childbirth,” Rita added.
“None of those have happened in my life yet,” said Vandalieu. “Also, I’ll ask just to be sure, but you’re talking about the pregnancies and childbirths of the people I’ll marry in the future, right?”
But in response to this question, the sisters smiled and wrapped their arms around him to embrace him from both sides.
“It’s alright!” said Rita. “There’s nothing to worry about.”
“We’ve been told that easing that uncertainty is important at times like this, so please don’t worry, Bocchan!” said Saria.
The bikini armor Rita and high-leg armor Saria, who were exposing just as much skin as ever despite having more decorations than before, showed no signs of embarrassment as they sandwiched Vandalieu between them and hugged him as if to bury him.
Though the two of them were suits of armor, with the rest of their bodies having been created with the Spirit Form Skill, so perhaps it would be strange to describe them as ‘showing skin.’
“You said that Quinn will be emerging from her chrysalis soon, and preparations for taking the Sauron region back are underway,” said Rita.
“Most importantly, you’ve caught glimpse of the possibility of Darcia-sama’s resurrection. This is a turning point in your life! So we’ll give you plenty of skin contact to make you feel at ease,” said Saria.
“Indeed, you could call this a turning point,” Vandalieu said with a nod as he reflected upon recent events, still sandwiched between the two.
It was possible that this was the cause for his emotional instability.
“And I’ll be going through puberty soon, too.”
Vandalieu would become ten years old at the beginning of next year’s summer. It was the age where he might go through puberty if it came early, what was known as the ‘difficult age.’ It was possible that puberty was already having effects on him.
Vandalieu searched his memories, trying to remember what puberty had been like in his first and second lives, but he didn’t have many memories of his own mental state.
“Oh, what is the matter, Bocchan?” said Sam, whose carriage was pulling a bone wagon made from bones separated from Knochen.
“Father, Bocchan seems to be in a blue mood,” said Rita.
“I see, because it is a turning point in your life. It is not surprising… I felt very sad on the day before I gave my beloved spear that had accompanied me everywhere back to Mikhail-dono,” Sam said to Vandalieu, whose head was barely poking out from between his daughters.
The piled-up contents of the wagon that Sam was pulling… the corpses and equipment of the soldiers, knights and scouts of the occupying army and Duke Marme’s personal army who had stepped foot into the former Scylla territory and been killed by Vandalieu’s Undead. These contents were discarded into an enormous magical circle that had been drawn on the ground.
The Undead, including Rita, Saria and Borkus, had been stationed here in the former Scylla territory where the Sauron Liberation Front was, repelling the soldiers of the occupying army and mercenaries that came into the territory every day.
Stone monuments and signs had been set up on the edges of the former Scylla territory, warning intruders, “Do not enter this place anymore.” The helmets of the soldiers who had already been killed had been placed in front of these to make them more persuasive. Borkus and the other Undead had been slaughtering those who ignored these warnings.
But although groups of over several hundred soldiers were easy to deal with, the former Scylla territory was too large to deal with the scouts that entered stealthily in small units of only a few individuals.
Vandalieu had set up this automatic Undead-creating circle to ensure that there were enough defenses.
He had used the Alchemy Skill to imbue the effects of the Zombie Maker Job into this magic circle that was drawn with the Demon King’s ink. There was a vase in the middle filled with the Demon King’s blood, and an eyeball of the Demon King was floating in it. The power was provided by an enormous magic crystal that had been placed near the magic circle.
Spirits floating about near the magic circle were drawn to it by Vandalieu’s Mana that was being emitted by it, and they would automatically become Undead by possessing the bodies, armor and arms that they had used while alive.
It was a convenient installment that automatically generated Zombies, Cursed Weapons and Living Armors as long as it had a steady source of Mana.
“By the way, is there enough Mana?” Sam asked.
“I can’t seem to charge it up quickly enough,” said Vandalieu.
He was replenishing the Mana of the enormous magic crystal, which was the power source of the installation.
Vandalieu had taken the Magic Stones of dinosaur-type monsters that could be hunted in large numbers in Borkus’s Sub-Dragon Savannah near Talosheim and used the Golem Creation Skill to fuse them into one object to create this magic crystal; it was about the size of a house.
But the total Mana it could store was about 100,000,000 – not such a large amount for Vandalieu. The reason the charging of this crystal wouldn’t end was because Vandalieu himself was near the magic circle, so the spirits floating about in the former Scylla territory were flooding in and turning into Undead one after another.
Even now, new Undead were being born, and the spirits that were unable to wait for more objects to be brought for them to possess were simply becoming Ghosts.
“Gegyah!” snarled a Living Armor that had been possessed by a Goblin spirit that had apparently wandered in.
“Wait! That’s my weapon and armor!” said the spirit of the soldier whose equipment had been taken, leaving him no option but to become a Ghost.
“I set this up so that there would be enough forces here even without me, but it seems that I’ve become unable to leave,” said Vandalieu.
“Bocchan, do you not think that we have enough forces now?” said Sam.
“… That’s true.”
“But Bocchan, you have become able to create Undead that are more powerful to begin with than before, haven’t you?”
Before, Vandalieu had been creating Rank 1 Living Bones and Living Dead, and he was barely able to create Rank 3 Living Armors by spending ten times the amount of Mana needed for the weaker Undead. But now, things were different.
Now, he could create Rank 2 Zombies by using a third of the Mana it would have cost him before. Depending on the spirits and corpses he used as materials, he could create Rank 3 Zombie Soldiers and Rank 4 Heavy Armors.
“You’re right, and once there are enough crudely-made Undead to watch the base while everyone from the resistance is absent, that will be enough,” said Vandalieu.
“The plan to take back the Sauron region, isn’t it!” said Rita.
“I am expecting great things from Mikhail-dono as he works in the battlefield. From my beloved spear as well,” said Sam.
Having made an informal declaration of war against the Amid Empire, Vandalieu had decided to take back the Sauron region immediately. Of course, with the Sauron Liberation Front and Orbaume Kingdom. This was because if Vandalieu himself stepped onto the frontlines, even if he repelled the Amid Empire, the people of the Sauron region wouldn’t follow him.
Thus, he would have the Sauron Liberation Front form connections with the Orbaume Kingdom and execute the plan while the Amid Empire was still restless. Borkus, Mikhail, Rita, Saria and the other high-Rank Undead, Bellmond and the rest of the Abyssal Vampires as well as Vandalieu himself would participate in the battle against the occupying army under disguise.
If disguised a little, Rita and Saria wouldn’t be seen as Undead unless examined very closely, and there wouldn’t be a problem for Borkus as long as he kept his head completely covered by a helmet.
People might think them to be strange, but nobody would suspect that Undead would be participating in an organized military operation, so they were very unlikely to be noticed.
Nobody would imagine that Bellmond and the other Abyssal Vampires were Vampires if they stood visibly in the sunlight.
And Vandalieu himself would be covering everyone from behind and standing by to deal with any unexpected enemies, like the Fifteen Evil-breaking Swords.
The resistance’s main base would be left virtually empty during this operation, so Vandalieu had been mass-producing crudely-made Undead to defend it.
Other than Vandalieu’s Mana, the only other materials needed were intruding enemies’ spirits, bodies and equipment, so it was environmentally friendly as well.
“The only thing I’m worried about is that the kingdom hasn’t responded to the Sauron Liberation Front yet, but there’s a limit to how long we can continue waiting. Chezare will pop a blood vessel,” said Vandalieu. “Since we have a lot of soldiers now, we have enough defenses and there’s no more reason to keep waiting.”
“You are right. Though I must say, there were no dependable-looking ones among the crudely-made Undead that you created,” said Sam.
“Well, they were crudely-made, after all,” said Vandalieu.
The quality of each individual Undead was a little low, especially when considering future use for them. They did gain some bonuses from the Dark Demon Path, however.
“There weren’t any Living Armors, Zombies or Ghosts that looked like they would become maids,” Rita said, sounding disappointed.
Bonuses for that weren’t given by the Dark Demon Path.
“… Because there are almost no female soldiers or knights in the Amid Empire,” said Vandalieu. “I’m sure mercenaries are mostly men, too.”
There were quite a few women that were spies, but as scouts that did scouting in the field were soldiers, these weren’t women.
“Bocchan, won’t you take this opportunity to open the door to becoming a maid to men as well?” Rita suggested.
“No, I won’t. Rita, just make them butlers and hall boys,” said Vandalieu.
“Isn’t it fine if they’re cute enough to look like girls?” said Saria.
“Saria, I firmly refuse.”
“You two, you mustn’t trouble Bocchan,” said Sam. “More importantly, your Ranks have increased, so focus on thinking about how to kill at least one enemy soldier at the opening of the battle.”
“Yes, Father,” the sisters said in unison.
Vandalieu put a hand on his chest in relief as Sam’s dignified words put a stop to a very terrifying plan.
And then Bellmond appeared. “Danna-sama, a party of scouts have entered the area using a mercenary band as a decoy. I have disposed of the scouts, but the unit led by Bone-Man-dono is fighting the mercenary band. What should be done?” she asked.
“There isn’t any unexpected backup for the mercenary band, is there? Then leave them for now. Mercenaries should be nothing more than training fodder for Bone Man,” said Vandalieu. “I’ll have an insect carry an eyeball of the Demon King there so I can have a look, though.”
“Very well,” Bellmond said with a bow, turning to leave.
But Rita and Saria called out to her.
“Bellmond-san, Bocchan is in a blue mood,” said Rita.
“Please help us comfort him! Comforting the master is also part of a steward’s job,” said Saria.
“Eh?!” Bellmond exclaimed in surprise, looking at Vandalieu once more. “He does not appear that way to me, but…”
Vandalieu was sandwiched between Rita and Saria, expressionless as usual and appearing to be carefree just like he usually was. Even though he was apparently controlling an eyeball of the Demon King with the Long-distance Control Skill at the moment.
Bellmond’s master Vandalieu was usually in a good mood when in the presence of others, so she had thought that he was in a good mood now.
“I’m super blue,” said Vandalieu.
“… Is that true?” Bellmond asked.
“Sorry, that was a lie.”
It seemed that Vandalieu wasn’t depressed after all.
“But something emotionally painful apparently happened. I don’t know what it was, though,” Vandalieu added.
“That seems to be true…” Bellmond seemed to struggle with an internal conflict for a moment. “It cannot be helped, just for a little,” she said, and then she offered her bushy tail to Vandalieu.
“Now then, Knochen and I will go and retrieve the corpses and belongings of these mercenaries,” said Sam.
Sam and Knochen set off back down the road from which they had come, gazing at the beautiful sunset as they heard the dying scream of one of the mercenaries.
【Living Killer Maid Armor】
A Maid Armor can become a Rank 8 Murder Maid Armor by continuously robbing enemies of their lives, and then increase their Rank once more to become a Living Killer Maid Armor by harvesting even more lives, including those of humans.
During battle, they emanate an Aura of Fear that directly attacks the minds of their enemies, and they possess the Self-Enhancement: Murder and Murder Healing Skills, which temporarily increase Attribute Values and restore Vitality respectively when they inflict wounds upon others.
They are monsters that have not yet been recognized by the human societies of Lambda, but if their existence was known, they would likely be designated as calamities and requests to exterminate them would be sent out.
Rita and Saria have recently begun training in magic, so it is expected that they will develop further.